Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
14 December 2012 / 30 Muharram 1434
Inculcating the Attribute of Al-Wafaa’ in Ourselves – The Key to a Close Relationship with Allah and with other Human Beings
Dear Jemaah blessed by Allah,
On this day full of Barakah from Allah s.w.t, let us strengthen the determination to be Allah’s servants filled with taqwa, and show our gratitude to Allah s.w.t. by increasing our taqwa toward him. Let us take this opportunity to boost our efforts in heeding Allah’s commandments devoutly, and strive to leave behind what He has forbidden upon us.
Among the attributes of a pious servant of Allah is that he has good character or akhlak, both with other men and with his Creator, Allah s.w.t. One of the good characters taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. to us, is the quality of Al-Wafaa’, which means keeping one’s promises or commitments.
Islam teaches a Mukmin that when he makes a promise, it is obligatory upon him to fulfill his promise. That is why, my dear brothers, every promise that we make will be questioned by Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla in the Hereafter. Allah s.w.t. says in Surah Al-Israa’ verse 34:
Which means: “And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.”
This verse gives a clear picture that Islam places commitments, promises and contracts in a very high and noble regard, it must be honoured, fulfilled and executed to the best of abilities.
Indeed, if we recall the history of the life Rasulullah s.a.w., Allah’s Messenger is the best example in honouring and upholding the attribute of Al-Wafaa’. It is clearly very much part of Rasullah’s character and was evident from his daily interactions and encounters with others, whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims.
The best example of how Rasullah enlivened the quality of Al-Wafaa’ can be seen during the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyyah, which took place in the sixth year of the Hijrah. The event became a proof of how Rasulullah s.a.w. held on to the terms of the contract he agreed upon with the people of Quraisy, even though on the surface, the terms of the treaty seemed to side with the people of Musyrikin Quraisy. However, due to Rasullah’s wisdom which is his ability to see the long term benefits (Fiqh Al-Ma’al) of the contract, and Rasullah’s honesty and sincerity in meeting his promise, eventually the treaty led to the benefit or maslahah of Islam and the Muslim community at that time. This is because, as a result of the agreement, Islam was able to flourish more rapidly, peace was created and eventually led to the victory over Makkah, two years after the treaty of Hudaibiyyah.
My dear brothers,
The lesson learned here is that the success of the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyyah, was due to the fact that every member of the Muslim community at that time had honoured and kept to the contract. This is indeed the identity and character of the Muslim community educated by the madrasah of Rasulullah s.a.w. A community that upholds its promise, keeps its word and meets its commitments to the best of its abilities. They do so out of their taqwa, sense of piety toward Allah s.w.t. and at the same time, obey the commands of Allah and His Messenger in building good relations with other mankind on the basis of mutual trust.
On the contrary, when Muslims do not honour their agreements and start to break their promises, then they will incur Allah’s wrath and displeasure, and it will weaken the Muslim society and taint the beauty and purity of the teachings of Islam. In this matter, Allah s.w.t. has reminded Muslims in surah As-Saff, verse 2-3:
Which means: “O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.”
My dear brothers,
In fact, the concept of Al-Wafaa’ is not only applicable in our human relationships. The concept of Al-Wafaa’ can be viewed from a finer perspective, where it involves our relationship with Allah s.w.t. This means, as a Muslim, we have been commanded to fulfill our promise to the Creator of all beings, which is Allah s.w.t.
And what is the promise that we have made to Allah ‘Azza wa Jalla, my brothers? Do we realise that all of us have made a promise to Allah? Yes, we have made a covenant to Allah when we were first made and before we were brought to this world. Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al-A’raaf verse 172:
Which means: “And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yes, we have testified.’ [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, ‘Indeed, we were of this unaware.’ ”
This promise is a sacred covenant which states the purpose of our existence on this earth, which is to worship Allah s.w.t and be His dutiful servants. This covenant is not only for us to be aware of, but to perform and uphold to the best of our abilities. And to carry out the promise, there is no other way than to ensure that at the core of our lives is to worship Allah with utmost sincerity, obey His commandments and prohibitions, and to seek only from Him. As stated by Nabi Ibrahim a.s., recorded by Allah in the Quran in surah Al-An’aam verse 162:
Which means: “Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
When a Muslim is sincere in keeping his promise to Allah, then he will not break his promises to other men. A Muslim will strive to be punctual at all times. A seller will meet his obligations to his customers; a husband will fulfill his vows that he uttered to his wife during the solemnisation, and vice versa.
A student will fulfill his promise to his family and the community to study diligently, and a teacher will uphold his commitment to educate his students sincerely, no matter whether his students are smart or weaker in understanding the subject. A leader will also keep his promise to protect the rights of his followers. And finally, the rights of all parties will be upheld if we inculcate the attribute of Al-Wafaa’ in ourselves, driven by our sense of taqwa toward Allah s.w.t.
Before I end this sermon, I would like to call upon myself and those present here today, to renew our promise to Allah s.w.t. by reciting ‘Laa Ilaha Illallah’, which means ‘None worthy to be worshipped except for Allah’.
Let us ignite the zeal to perform our worship in the hope of attaining Allah’s pleasure. And hopefully through this, it will develop individuals, families and a community with a strong faith, a deep sense of piety and noble character. May this improvement in ourselves help us to attain Allah’s pleasure, forgiveness, protection and love, and achieve success in this world and the Hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.